Social media has really become one of the most important avenues for businesses out there, in order to reach out and communicate with their market.
What makes it even better is that it is still growing and business establishments are still learning how to best use social media in order to make their services better. According to Richard Gans, Director of Social Media at AXA, social media usage, both on a paid and organic nature, continues to grow and evolve as a means of marketing and engaging with consumers. More specifically, using social media as an active channel for resolving customer service moments continues to evolve as the needs and expectations of consumers change. Consumers expect brands, even financial service companies, to be available for help when and where they need it and social media is serving as one of those necessary options.
Social media is the perfect avenue for a two-way communication between a prospective customer and a business establishment. Mr. Gans claimed that the use of social media is one of the things that really worked well in enabling his company to build trust online. He said that as more people look online for feedback prior to making a purchase. AXA recently incorporated an initiative that facilitates direct, two-way customer feedback along with the collection and organization of customer responses with the aim not only of improving customer experience, but also of ultimately producing new products and speeding innovations on existing ones.
Allowing your clients and customers to provide comments on your products or services through social media will enable you and your company to easily improve based on the feedback provided. It would be a lot easier to identify areas where you are doing right as well as areas that need improvements.
What makes it even more interesting is that social media is only a fraction of what you and your company can use in creating an online presence and building trust for your company online. If you are looking to expand the reach of your company, getting involved in trainings and seminars of this nature can help you get started. Here’s the good news. The Annual Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit is once again upon us. The event will take place on the 21st and 22nd of June 2017 at The Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre in Toronto. The summit will be the perfect place for you to learn how to drive conversion, create loyalty, and maintain your competitive edge.
What makes this summit a must-attend is the fact that the speakers, of whom Mr. Richard Gans is a part of, are really authorities in their respective fields. On top of that, you will also get to meet people from different financial services companies like banks, insurances and credit unions. There are also those from investment and wealth management sectors as well as from digital marketing. It will truly be a worthwhile learning experience for you which can greatly help you start your online campaigns. If you want to learn more, simply visit their website: http://www.financialdigitalmarketing.com, check out the speakers as well as the topics that will be covered and then register! It would be one of the best things you can do for your business.
Also you can get 20% Off your Tickets by using the code “REFUEL20”
ABOUT RICHARD GANS
Richard Gans Director of Social Media, AXA
Rich Gans is Director of Social Media at AXA in the U.S., a leader in providing wealth management, life insurance and annuity products. In his current role, he oversees the company’s enterprise social strategy and social media policies and executes initiatives that use social media to enhance the customer experience, drive brand awareness, increase business value, and safeguard brand reputation. That’s his job description; his passion is helping transform the organizational culture to make people feel more informed and comfortable with social media. To achieve that goal, he manages all employee-focused social media training in addition to the U.S. social employee advocacy program. Prior to joining AXA, Rich was the head of social media for Forrester Research. Before that, he held roles focused on customer experience, market research, and business analysis at Forrester Research, Jupiter Research, and IBM.
Rich holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School for Business. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and 4 children. Follow Rich on Twitter @Richard_Gans.
WordPress is awesome as a platform and there is so many things in it that make my life and my clients lives better. And the great thing about what I do, is I am learning all the time. If we can learn, we can grow.
So, for today’s article, let’s grow a little together.
I wanted to give you a few insights I learned from Randy Mann, who is an accomplished marketer, IT & webguy. We got talking and he mentioned a few things that I know, and one that I didn’t think about before regarding WordPress (WP), various plugins and tips.
So here is Randy’s list…….
7 things to do to make your WordPress site rock and become more secure (Even more than it is now):
Back up, back up, and backup again.
There are free plugins that will get the job done. WP is great out of the box, but it’s just the core framework to everything else. Backing up your site isn’t one of the things. You’ll need a service or a plugin to get the job done.
WordPress isn’t always secure – and this is the most serious problem with WP.
Never login as admin. Change the username to something else as soon as you are logged in the first time. If hackers are trying to get into your site, “admin” will be the first username they try. This means you just did half of their work for them. Now all they need to do is figure out the password.
Always use secure passwords, NEVER the common ones.
Pick something complex with numbers, letters and symbols.
Update the WP core and plugins as soon as they are available. These usually fix common bugs and vulnerabilities.
Don’t download themes or plugins from unknown or unreliable sources.
Always use either the official repository at WordPress.org or other trusted sources like reputable theme sites.
Use a dedicated security plugin, like WordFence to protect you from common attacks.
WordPress tends to load really slow.
If your site is loading in slow, it could be images being too big, plugins taking to long to load or even font choices. There are good ways to figure out what is causing this drag in time, as it will cost you customers. See below to learn how to find out what is causing the issues.
Broken Links Happens over time and you have no real way of knowing. You could test them all by hand, but a lot of pages/posts equals a lot of time to do that. Use a plugin called Broken Link Checker to get it done.
****Also, at no charge, Randy already had some great training so I asked him if he could include it here… So you can now get Randy’s 30 training (short and sweet) videos on how to use WordPress effectively (again at no charge)****
Today, almost every business establishments, from small and medium enterprises to large corporations, are always aiming to do great things in their online or digital marketing campaigns. The majority of the public today spend a lot of time engaging online.
People have become so involved with the digital world that they expect to do just about everything and anything online, from banking to purchases to checking status updates. As a result, digital marketing is an ever growing and expanding playing field. You need to stay on top of what works and what doesn’t.
Maja Neable VP, Digital and Channel Marketing BMO FINANCIAL GROUP
According to Maja Neable, Vice President of Digital and Channel Marketing at BMO FINANCIAL GROUP, as the consumers move to expect more in digital, the marketers have adopted: better targeting, more relevant messaging, and more competition for the digital consumer.
According to Neable, their company has found the biggest impact when their knowledgeable representatives in branches and contact center help bring customers on board. Customers trust them and rely on their advice.
Their campaigns include a number of strategies and tools like videos, email marketing, ad targeting, and social media. Their whole strategy is anchored on fully integrated intuitive experiences: from targeting well with relevant messages, to then meeting the customer’s need by providing an easy experience. Treating customer interactions as a life-cycle, a journey, rather than an instance, provides for the most powerful and engaging experiences, and business results.
While this strategy has been fruitful for BMO FINANCIAL GROUP, it took time to work. It is a product of a learning cycle where they tested different strategies, encountering failures and learning from them. Developing a workable strategy really is not easy in digital marketing.
“Given the amount of competition, you also have to adopt and innovate as quickly as possible to remain relevant”, Neable discussed, “To compete in the digital space today, one must continually invest and re-invent itself. This requires a different approach and thinking for established financial institutions. The ones that are the fastest to change to this way of thinking, will be the winners.”
This is where a good networking and linking up with fellow digital marketers becomes very important. Learning from others successes and failures allows you to expand your horizon and identify possible ways to improve on your very own marketing campaigns.
If you are seriously looking to improve your digital marketing strategies, the 7th Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit is the perfect conference to attend. This year it is happening at The Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre in Toronto, on Wednesday June 21st & Thursday June 22nd 2017.
Here are five reasons why you should attend this summit:
Innovate at a digital speed.
Learn from C-level financial services leaders on how to create a competitive advantage.
Learn how to eliminate organizational roadblocks.
Connect with industry veterans and rising stars.
This is the only digital marketing forum for financial services.
BONUS Reason: Save 20% off your tickets (see below)
Boost your digital marketing and take it to the next level.
As Andrew Artemenko of Bank of America said, it is “encouraging to see innovative and creative ways to solve the issues, constraints and challenges in a highly regulated industry. It’s nice to get out of your comfortable home environment to meet peers face to face, who have new and inspiring ideas.”
As a business using social media marketing, you need to know what is the most important thing that you can do to attract customers to your business. You may be surprised to learn that the most important thing in online marketing is building trust.
Customers want a brand that they can trust and count on. They want a company that they can refer their friends to or that they can keep returning back to when they need similar services again. At the end of the day, the ROI (Return on investment) is not the biggest value that you are going to get from social media marketing. Through social media, you are going to be able to build up a trusting relationship with your customers, that helps them identify from you, and to learn from your insights. This will make you “front of mind” and become their first call when they need something.
The first step to gain this trust is to communicate with your customers and potential customers in your personal brand voice that is consistent always. This is most effective through writing social media posts in a manner that is human rather than through messages that seems very robotic in nature. You want to show off a relatable personality that will get customers to trust in you and your Company. Once you find the specific tone of your brand voice, you need to stick to it. Being consistent is key to gaining the trust of your readers and customers.
When it comes to actual posts, there are a few things that you need to do. You should post ideas that are unique and original for a few reasons. One, fresh posts help in ranking articles and two, when people see a different approach to a common topic, it can gain traction. These posts can be informative pieces or ones that are entertaining or a mixture of the two. You want to make sure these posts shareable so that your followers will want to share it with their friends, by having social media sharing buttons on each article or post you do. By doing this, you will gain more followers, which will increase the recognition of your brand.
A final aspect to using social media to gain the trust of your customers is through engaging with them. If a customer contacts you through social media about an issue with your products or services, be accountable and apologetic while trying to remedy the situation.
These are things that will help increase your customer’s trust in your brand. If a customer trusts you, they will be more willing to keep coming back for services and refer their friends and loved ones. Do not use your posts to market things all of the time, otherwise people will not want to follow you. You need to find a perfect balance between advertising and offering more value to your customers.
Remember this: Educate, don’t inundate.. Provide value, and people will trust and buy from you naturally.
Social media is one of the most important forms of modern communication and a brilliant way to connect with so many like-minded people. However, like all powerful tools, it should be used responsibly.
You want to create a positive online atmosphere for your business, one that creates sense of community with friends, peers, and potential customers.
Here are the top 7 do’s and don’ts in social media marketing that can affect your status online:
#1: Don’t Complain
This seems like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised at how often people complain about bosses, clients or customers. This can not only negatively impact the image of a business (giving the wrong impression), but it impacts how present and future customers or bosses view you. I will say there is the occasional time that you have a really bad experience. If this happens, and you need to vent, thread lightly and do not name names.
#2: Don’t Get involved in controversial conversations
Wanting to engage other users is one thing. Starting or fueling fights is another. If your opinion is controversial regarding hot-topic issues like religion, race, or politics, you might not want to announce it all over the Internet—particularly if you’re hoping to catch the attention of future customers, employers or business partners. Social media is a fickle thing that way,
#3: Don’t Spam your followers
This isn’t just a tip for casual users; it’s crucial for businesses that are looking to build an online reputation. Spamming is a bad tactic because it fails to form real connections with customers. After all, there’s nothing more annoying to the average person than logging on and finding their wall crowded with sales pitches, updates, or excessive private messages. If you provide a sales pitch, make sure it provides value first.
#4: Don’t Self-promote (rule of 5:1)
Alright, we all do it. However, when it comes to promoting your businesses online, it’s important to practice “moderation”. Otherwise, you just come across as an obnoxious horn-blower too big for your britches, and customers will move on to someone less noisy. While you should certainly share your business experiences and values, balance that with promoting others. It will make your followers more receptive to your message, and more likely to share your promotions on their other networks. My rule of thumb is 5 posts of great info for every Sales piece. And ALWAYS show the value in the sale piece.
#5: Don’t Share anything you wouldn’t mind showing strangers
A lot of people tend to treat social media as if it is their diary, but always remember that your business records, grievances at work, or details of your personal life are your business—and should be for your eyes only. Unless you are a reality star and want people to know.. then good on you.
#6: DO: LISTEN
Social media is more than just a way to advertise. It’s a way to communicate. You don’t have to verbally communicate to be able to listen. Lend an ear to what your customers are saying or talking about online by paying attention to their comments. See what they want, what they like, and work on pleasing them by developing a way to solve what they are wanting,
#7: DO: Have clarity
Rather than logging on to dozens of social media platforms every day, focus on the ones that contribute to your professional mission. Posting a cat video may seem funny at the time, but consider whether or not it’s actually relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you want to learn more about how to grow your business with digital marketing, connect with me and let’s talk.